From time to time, when Muslims are mentioned in online discourses, I see comments like this:
“If Muslim extremists want to behead you, the moderates want the extremists to behead you!”
This obviously scorn-worthy opinion reminds me of a recent blogpost I made, which talks about how reluctant people are to call a physically non-aggressive person a bigot, even when they explicitly call for discriminations and violence against the “others”.
Both cases are similar in that they want to brush off the harsh labels. But, their motivations couldn’t be more stark.
Some people are opposed to calling certain others “bigots” because they want to make the situation looks nicer than it really is. Either they idolise the bigots, or they just want to feel positive all the time because they are too spineless to confront reality.
Meanwhile, those who call some Muslim extremists “moderates” want to make Islamic extremism looks mundane. They want to depict us as the most degenerate creatures, so degenerate that even the supposedly most peaceful among us are still violent. They want to depict the world – at least, a part of it – to be more evil than it really is.
This used to bewilder me. How can anyone do such blatantly dishonest fuckery and think they can get away with it?
Well, that’s because they can.
Yes, there are times when we need to be highly technical with our lies. But, we live in a world where so many people hear what they want to hear, where identity politics trumps truth.
If what you say is what people want to hear, it will spread like the Indonesian wildfire which palm companies started. Your zealous fellow ideologues will also take every single one of your words as the gospels, not to be desecrated by facts.
Unfortunately, if you want to spread lies, simply spewing them is more than enough.
From all of the anti-Muslim bigotry expressions I have encountered, this is one of the most effective; it is very empowering to bigots while also looking very harmless for morons.
I wonder if this kind of bigoted rhetoric has also applied to other groups. From what I observe, bigots either lump their targets as giant monolithic organisations or blatantly depict them as non-humans with deceptively human appearances. I have yet to find expression of bigotry comparable to “moderates being extremists”.
Maybe such thing is common and I am not paying attention. But, I hope this is a rarity. I already have too many reasons to be cynical of humanity.
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